Rohit Rao’s journey from a sofa potato to a mountaineer to make his father proud

Rohit Rao begins gasping for air. He’s 6000 metres above sea stage.

The Dzo Jongo peak (6240 metres) in July whereas nonetheless accessible, is just not simply scalable. Rohit made it to the bottom camp at 5,800 metres after six
days of ascent. He’s tantalisingly near the highest.

Because the air will get thinner, the summit appears to get farther. It’s darkish, too. He left base camp at round 9.30 pm; it’s about 2 am now. Or possibly 3 am. After a degree, he doesn’t know what time it’s, the place he’s or the place he’s going. His trek chief is anxious and advises Rohit to return.

The latter, nonetheless, is on a mission. He desires to show a photograph atop the mountain. He convinces the chief and himself that he can push additional.

Rohit trudges on. At 6,150 metres, he must climb a near-vertical slope to get to the mountain. Wanting down would usher in a rush of panic. A slip may show deadly. The next 90 meters was the most important problem of his life.

Rohit, nonetheless, overcomes it. At 6,240 metres above sea stage, he shows a photograph of his father, Srinivas Rao Madasu, an Arjuna Award-winning para-athlete who handed away in March after battling most cancers.

Rohit Rao holding his father’s portrait at Dzo Jongo

Rohit Rao holding his father’s portrait at Dzo Jongo

“It’s the most great expertise of his life,” Rohit recollects the trek he did three months in the past.

Srinivas Rao represented India within the Paralympics, world championships, and Asian meets in badminton, taking pictures, desk tennis, fencing, and weightlifting. He additionally participated in numerous wheelchair marathons.

Srinivas gained a gold medal within the 1996 para world taking pictures championships in London. In 2002, he gained gold on the earth para-badminton championship. The next yr he acquired the Arjuna Award.

His enthusiasm for sports activities, nonetheless, hardly rubbed off on his eldest
son. “I used to be lazy. I hated getting up early. My father tried to enrol me in badminton and desk tennis once I was in fourth grade. I used to be not ,” says Rohit, who appeared to have a disposition for mountains even then. When his dad and mom scolded him, he would threaten them, saying, “I’ll go away dwelling and go to the Himalayas.”

A lot later in life, he remembered these juvenile ultimatums when he bought excited by mountaineering. Rohit began working in Accenture by now. He was the son of an achieved athlete. And, he felt he didn’t have a single achievement to his identify. He wished his father to be happy with him.

In December 2018, he signed up for his first-ever trek to Kedarkantha, a 4115-metre peak in Uttarakhand. He was undecided if he may pull it off. When he scaled the mountain, nonetheless, he felt thrilled, proud, and assured. “It offers you a excessive. If you attain the highest, every little thing appears to be like small. It’s as in case you are on prime of the world.”

Rohit was conscious of taller peaks. He felt he may conquer them too. So, in 2019, he went for the Pangarchulla peak (about 4500 metres) trek and Stok Kangri (6153 metres). The COVID-19 pandemic paused his expeditions for many of 2020. In December, he scaled Dayara Bugyal (3639 metres). He began 2021 with a trek of Brahmatal (3734 metres) earlier than his Dzo Jongo journey in August.

Mount Everest beckons subsequent.

That can take not less than one other three years, says Rohit who works in Hyderabad. “You need to improve the peak step by step. I’m already working and biking in preparation for scaling higher heights. I’m additionally searching for some monetary assist in my quest. I cannot relaxation till I get to the highest of Everest.”

Leave a Comment